pune aga khan palace

A smart water distribution and leakage detection system has been selected as the winning idea at the Digital Pune Hackathon 2015 organized by Persistent Systems. The solution, created by Team Aqua from Army Institute of Technology, could help solve Pune’s water and sanitation problems. The team was awarded with Rs 1 lakh to further refine the product.

The event was organized as a part of public-private partnerships under Digital India and included various government bodies such as Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) and Maharashtra Police Department.

Overall, the event saw 300 participants that were shortlisted from among 2000 applications. Entries were accepted from students across Maharashtra and other states, of which 32 were shortlisted for the final hackathon. The final event, which took place on last Saturday, lasted nearly 30 hours, with participants building solutions that could be used by government bodies for better governance, monitoring and management of various services in sectors like transportation, health, education, water and power problems relevant to the city.

Note that Pune was among the 98 cities selected under the Government’s Smart City Mission. Under this mission, selected cities would introduce various solutions like video crime monitoring, smart electricity meters, renewable energy generation, smart parking, automated traffic management, skill development centers etc., while the initiative would be funded by the states and other central government schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission, National Heritage City Development, AMRUT and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).

Subsequently last month, the PMC distributed 350,000 physical forms to societies in the city for its ‘Pune Smart City Challenge- Stage 2’, of which it claimed to have collected suggestions from over 125,000 families in a week. The PMC had also previously held an online and offline contest (pdf) with cash prizes of Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 for its citizens on ‘How to make Pune a smart city’, where people needed to submit ideas across a bunch of topics.

Image Source: Flickr user Michelle Lee